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Renowned musician asks youth to learn music

Instrumentalist and vocalist Abhay Rustum Sopori says he wants J&K to come into international recognition.

india Updated: Dec 13, 2006 18:02 IST

Asking the music and art-loving youth in the state to break all shackles, famous instrumentalist and vocalist Abhay Rustum Sopori on Wednesday said he wants J&K to come into international recognition.

"I want to take an initiative to bring people back to their roots, to their music and culture," Sopori, who spots long locks of hair, said addressing a news conference at Jammu. Sopori Academy of Music and Performing Arts (SaMaPa), a vision of Sopori's family, carries a legacy of nine to 10 generations in music.

Music, art and cultural activities in the state suffered a lot in the state after insurgency broke out in early nineties. However, Sopori believes music would prevail over violence.

"Certainly there have been lesser cultural activities in the state in the last 17 years. But things are getting better now," he said.

He promised establishing a music academy in the state within next two years. "Raising buildings alone won't help. Before we establish an academy over here, I want more interest to be generated among the youth here," Sopori said.

SaMaPa is organising an eight-day festival of Indian classical and Sufi Music from December 14 in Jammu.

He stressed, "SaMaPa is a movement not merely an academy. For brining music and culture to the people, we've to take an initiative. I know there is not a bright future in the state for music and art. But I promise you that within four to five years, there'll be a music revolution in J&K." Sopori also promised organising a Sufi festival in the state.

However, he rued over the treatment the Asian people were being meted out in European and American countries.

He along with his father, the legendry Santoor maestro, Pandit Bhajan Sopori were stopped at USA's Chicago airport when the airport authorities on seeing them spotting beard, long locks of hair, traditional attire and the colour of the skin, which the Aryans have, stopped them from boarding the airplane.

"The racial discrimination should end. People spotting beard are harassed. Every country should realise this that anyone from any religion can spot a beard," he said adding that being stopped from boarding the plane had cost them heavily.

Veteran journalist Shyam Koul termed Sopori the son-of-soil who was becoming an iconic figure and bringing name and fame to the state.